Recently one night, I was reflecting over life again and I realized something about myself; I do not talk about myself often. Sounds a bit vain but think about all of the personal information people willingly put on social media. Not just name and address. I mean status updates letting the public know about their day. How they personally feel about something. About relationships. About fallouts. About what they eat. Where they are. Where they are going. Who they are hanging out with. Achievements. Failures. Promotions. Revenge. What they find funny. Political beliefs. Religious beliefs. It seems like the list can go on forever.
I do put such information out there. I think most of us do. But I do not update my status frequently. When I do, it is often distant from me personally. Nothing too personal. Not many details. Why?
As I thought about this, another thought came to mind; Who am I?
It is not the first time I had to deal with my own identity. From childhood until now, that question continuously pops into mind. Obviously I can say that I am Louvie Tucker, I grew up in Memphis, and I attended Denison University but is that who I am? Another way to look at my identity is that I am a young black male with a small afro who seems to be wearing his father’s clothes. You can even say that I am a world-traveled professional who is near fluent in Japanese and has an above average computer skills. All of those things are true. What creates the substance of the “Who am I” question is not really “who”. It is the situation.
The reason I write this now is because I am always analyzing society with scrutiny. I conduct small-scale research into intriguing topics, formulate theories about society, and see how well they hold. Of course, I am not always right. I am human not a god. So why have I not found the answer to the age old question of self-identity?
Part of the reason, I feel, is that I am afraid of what I will find. Maybe I will be disappointed in myself for not being the person I have envisioned myself as in my younger years. Perhaps, this is a defense mechanism to keep me from a destructive road of alcohol, hard drugs, and cheap hookers in which case I should stop digging deeper.
Another part, although contradicting, is that I am also comfortable in my own skin. I recognize I have faults and how they can impact my life. I feel capable of achieving great things as if it is simply a quiet stroll in a park. Exaggerated? Just a little. But that is my confidence backed by years of constantly having plans collapse around me and still salvage enough to get a step closer to my goal.
However the most likely reason why this is such a difficult question is that I have multiple identities. Not like a secret agent. Multiple identities in the sense that for different people and locations, I have a distinct identity. Memphis me is completely different from Denison me and American me is remarkably different from international me. These multiple identities do not always mesh together when I encounter a life situation. Where am I? What events just happened? Will people take offense? Do I care? Is it a good time to handle this situation? From questions like these, I have to choose a “who”.
For example, let’s say I wanted to write a post about my identity. Who do I write it as? Well, physical location is not too important since it is not for a school but it is directed mainly to English speakers. The topic is “identity” which is philosophical but it is my identity so I do not have to sound like a teacher or great lecturer. I do not want to focus on the superficial and I want to dive into the depths of my thoughts. But I know my thoughts are jumbled at best so I need to present these thoughts as clearly as possible. I have to decide whether or not I am comfortable exposing personal thoughts to the public as well. If not, what am I willing to talk about? How to phrase it?
In the end, I finally write a post to introduce the oldest identity of mine: Analytical Louvie.